Monthly Archives: January 2022

Realistic Blocks Now Available at Ages of Sail

Ages of Sail is carrying a nice alternative to the usual blocks found in kits. Of course, blocks are a very small detail, so many modelers may not care to spend the extra money to upgrade their build. But, for those who want their models to be as scale accurate as possible, blocks like these are worth the investment.

I’ve decided to use these to rig my gunboat “Arrow” that I’m building from an Amati kit. The limited amount of rigging and the need for only smaller sizes of blocks makes this a pretty ideal candidate for using them.

Ages of Sail

The blocks included in ship model kits haven’t changed a whole lot over the ages. That’s because they’re small wooden details that weren’t easy to produce in a fashion that looked much like real blocks used on ships. There are things you can do to make blocks look better, like spinning them in a special tumbler, which can improve the shape. For most of us, that’s probably fine.

In recent years, newer methods have been incorporated in the mass production of wooden blocks for ship models, and we are proud to announce that we’re now carrying high quality pear wood blocks produced by Master Korabel!

How do these blocks compare to the standard kits blocks? You can see this for yourself. Below are some single sheave blocks. Can you tell which ones are Master Korabel and which is not?

We carry all sizes from 2mm to 5mm of single-sheave and…

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Amati Gunboat “Arrow” Build – In the Beginning

I’ve turned my attention back toward the completion of the Amati Gunboat “Arrow” kit and it’s coming along. I’m ready to deal with rigging and the sails as most of the hull and deck detail is done. This is a kit that I started quite some time ago, but other things pushed it on a back burner, and I mean way back, because I started it in 2014.

I’ll post an update soon. But, I’ve written a few posts now about building this Amati kit, and mostly of the middle stages of construction. For those who are interested in building the kit, since the construction of this kit is unlike most ship model kits I’ve encountered, I thought it might be good to post some photos from the early stages of construction. 

On thing in particular that makes this kit unusual is that this is a shallow draft gunboat, so it’s very wide and flat, and the lower part of the hull is built in plank-on-bulkhead fashion, but with no interlocking keel piece. Also, the upper part of the hull requires the installation of “timberheads” that on most kits are provided as extensions of the bulkheads. On this kit, they are added separately. 

In any case, here’s what is mostly a photo blog of the early stages of the build. Hopefully, some modelers will find this interesting and/or helpful.

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Building Woody Joe’s Atakebune Kit – Part 8

Finally posted an update on my build of Woody Joe’s 16th century Japanese warship, the Atakebune. The project is coming along nicely, but I’m making quite a few modifications of the kit. So far, I’m pretty happy with how the build and modifications are coming along.

I’m working on the castle structure now, though it can really be dealt with separately from the lower hull and the armored box structure. There are modifications planned still for each of these sections. But, the for the castle structure, I mostly have straight construction ahead of me.

Wasen Mokei 和船模型

Updates on the progress of the Atakebune model are long overdue. The project has been continuing, and I’ve done quite a bit. But, I’ve been quite slow on writing posts. So, I’ll try to get partially caught up here, but I’ll probably need to write another post soon to finish catching up.

Stern structure added to the model. Note that all the doors have been added to the model. I simply taped them into place from the inside at this stage.

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The Return of the SF Maritime Research Library

Today, I drove into San Francsico to make use of the recently re-opened Maritime Library of the San Francisco Maritime Research Center. It was really nice to see the place again after more than a year away. And, truthfully, I haven’t made use of the library for a while, even before the Covid shutdown, so it’s been longer than that for me.

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